This past Saturday I participated in an exciting arts event in Oxnard, CA called "Perfecting the Craft 2" that showcased the talents and work of various artists from the Oxnard-Ventura area. There were photographers, barbers, painters, graffiti writers and artists, tattoo artists, graphic designers, authors, makeup artists, breakdancers, DJs, digital artists, and a band, as well as vendors selling their own clothing lines, professionally printed stickers and decals, and assorted marijuana products. The organizer's vision is to create a space and event for artists like these to connect with each other, to give exposure to otherwise unseen artwork and skills, and to create a community that fosters a culture of appreciation for hard work and dedication to one's art, no matter what medium one works in, and where the artist is along their creative journey.
I was exceedingly anxious for about a month and a half before the event because I am only at the beginning of my art career, and was worried that I would have nothing worthwhile to show anyone. And the reality is that I was entirely correct. The challenge now is to keep going in spite of the feeling that I am at the very beginning, that I have almost no technical skills yet to realize the work I envision in my mind, and work at it until something truly interesting and selfless is realized. The experience was humbling, and I intend to seek out more of these experiences in order to eradicate the ego, create a detachment to my creations, and thus lead my work towards something more pure.
The most interesting work only comes if we can do it with our whole body and mind, without any attachment to it. As Shunryu Suzuki says in 'Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind', "When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself."